Each individual woman’s body demands to be accepted on its own terms. – Gloria Steinem
This body, this female body, is divinity all dressed up in robes of feminine flesh.
Too often, way too often, this beautiful garment has been shamed and humiliated, objectified and used, scorned and belittled – the most hurtful damage done by the very one who wears it.
I now experience something different. I know that I, the one that sees all this, is not the one who scorns. The one that scorns is the only self I used to be aware of…the false self that mimics all she ingested and ingests, heard and hears, saw and sees.
The true self, the self that sees this all with such love and compassion knows I am dressed in the finest of flesh.
Yes, flesh. Flesh is divine. This feminine flesh is divine. It robes a home where Spirit and matter are brought together in a miraculous way. Creation has made this humble home for life to come into being by way of this womanly body.
I used to apologize for myself over and over. It was simply a habit borne of some belief that I couldn’t take up space in the world. Somewhere I learned that I didn’t belong to this world that seemed to be a man’s world. A world run by men, where men called the shots. Men belonged. Boys became men, but girls seemed to stay girls in this world. At least that’s what I learned by way of listening and watching as grown men and women would refer to men as men and women as girls, even women who were old and wise and beautiful.
I rarely apologize for myself any longer, but I am still too polite. It’s a hard habit to break. Politeness has its place, but politeness can also be another form of apologizing.
I see women apologizing for themselves over and over. I hear them say such harsh words about themselves. I want to just hold them and tell them what divine and sacred beings they are, just as I longed to be held, while having these loving words whispered into my ear.
When I feel the old familiar pangs of not belonging to this world, I find the nearest tree, flower, furry being or baby…something that reminds me of the immense variety of beauty there is in this world. Something that reminds me of the innocence that is at the heart of life. Something that reminds me that the world is owned by no one and that because it is owned by no one, we all belong to this place. Every living thing belongs to this place. We all reside in this “house of belonging“.
When I remember this, I remember what I am. A sacred being. A woman. A creation created to bring sacred life into being in infinite ways.
This being female is delicious. I’ve migrated down from my head to my heart to my belly to my womb. I feel the earth here. I feel my weightedness, the weightedness that connects me to the earth, the feminine to the feminine. It’s as if I am ripe with love, and the juiciness of the fruit weighs me down in a grounding, sensual way.
There is a fierceness here in this womb. A fierce love that protects life at all costs. A fierceness that ensures the life entrusted to this womb will be fed, nurtured, warmed and loved.
I’ve witnessed this fierce love in my daughters as they birthed their babies. Birthing is fierce love in action. Fierceness on the part of life as it charts its own course of labor and delivery, a course the mother has no say in. Fierceness on the part of the mother as she opens herself to the most vulnerable, tender and terrifying unknown she might ever experience. Fierceness on the part of the baby as it travels the short distance from womb to the world, but a distance that can take hours and days to navigate. It is all born from love, from the deep love of life wanting to birth itself anew in an infinite variety of forms and ways.
I’ve witnessed this fierceness in my daughters as they care for their babies in the day-to-day, doing whatever it takes to make sure their children feel safe, loved and cared for.
I’ve witnessed this fierce love in my mother, as she did whatever it took to raise her three daughters. I witnessed this fierce love in my mother as she fought to stay alive, to stay connected to those she loved even into the last hours before her death.
From this place, from this womb that is a microcosm of the big womb that is in constant creation, I know that the most important ‘job’ I am here to do is to protect and nurture life, all of life, all babies, all children, all men and women, all furry beings, and all the other myriad life forms. It is to live with this awareness, consciously infusing all that I create with this fierce love.
The awareness that I’ve found deep in my womb has brought me into the stark realization of all the ways I haven’t nurtured life, the ways I have added to the pain that earth, this home I belong to, is experiencing. This awareness has shown me that all my choices affect how the human race will continue to evolve, or not, and just how much power we humans have come to posess; power to love and power to destroy.
I don’t have some fancy big job. It’s insignificant and yet completely significant. Each of us has this capacity to bring forth this fierce love into being at this time. The ways in which we bring this fierce love for life into the world may seem small and insignificant, but when we all realize the capacity we have for fierce love, something can shift.
I am one of those older women now. I am not a girl, but a wise woman, a woman that knows she is more powerful than the culture would have me believe. I am a woman robed in feminine flesh. It is part of what it means to live and love in this ‘house of belonging’.
Tell me about your finest garment. I’d love to know what it is to be robed in your divine flesh.